Friday, April 24 2015
A banner on the grounds of Kellett Hall for Missouri State University-West Plains, showing the new West Plains community brandprint in action!
West Plains, MO -- The City of West Plains, in partnership with the country’s recognized leader in community branding, has unveiled a new brand identity that is designed to attract more residents, businesses and visitors to the city.
The strapline “West Plains: Make It Happen Here” was developed by North Star Destination Strategies, Inc. as part of a community-wide initiative that was 15 months in the making. The brand was approved by a panel of West Plains community representatives, and is a nod to the community’s strong entrepreneurial spirit, sense of self reliance, and the abundance of resources available to build a life in West Plains.
The research process included an assessment of the environment, demographics of resi-dents and consumers, perceptions of visitors, residents and stakeholders, and a review of current communications and West Plains’ competitors. Two community surveys, undercov-er interviews, and focus group interviews with local high school and college students were among the research strategies utilized by North Star.
The North Star creative team used that data to develop a brand “identity” that not only defines West Plains, but helps distinguish the city as it competes with other cities for busi-nesses and industry to the area. The North Star creative team includes advertising profes-sionals, graphic designers, marketing experts and copywriters.
Outside the city, the brand is also being heavily utilized for economic development purpos-es. Retail Strategies, which is under contract to help recruit retail and industry to West Plains, will use the new brand for their recruitment efforts, as I am for the City of West Plains. Retail Strategies will have the new logo, strapline, and a West Plains “brand narra-tive” on all its recruitment packets to potential investors. Having a unique brand helps differentiate us from our competitors, and gives us another tool when trying to recruit busi-nesses to West Plains.